FDA targets illegal online pharmacies

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has partnered with other international regulatory and law enforcement agencies to take action against more than 9,600 illegal online pharmacies this week. The pharmacies were illegally selling unapproved prescription medications to consumers and actions ranged from warnings to website seizures to the confiscation of more than $40 million worth of unauthorized medications.

Within the US, the FDA cooperated with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado to close down 1,677 illegal pharmacy websites. The larger coordinated action was known as Operation Panagea VI and ran worldwide from June 18-25.

The FDA says many of the sites appeared to have been operated by a single organized crime network under the name “Canadian Pharmacies,” although the drugs provided were not from Canada and also neither brand name nor FDA-approved. Many of the sites used false FDA seals of approval and names from legitimate U.S. pharmacy retailers.


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